By Kris Kelly, CBS 62/CW50 Community Affairs Manager
All dog lovers think their adorable pups are the cutest, funniest, smartest, and most amazing dogs ever. And that may be true. But even the most doting puppy parents may not know everything. I turned to Erin Askeland, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, Pet Behaviorist and Training Manager at Camp Bow Wow, for some facts about fido you probably never considered.
- Dogs develop to the mental age of a two year old human child.
- They can have a vocabulary of up to 150+ words and learn well through reward-based type teaching (cause and effect).
- They can even count up to five, learn the location of valuable items (for them usually food, toys, leashes, etc.), and are keen at picking up social cues (both good and bad).
- Dogs rely on their sense of smell first, then hearing, and sight third.
- They are also incredibly well-versed at reading human body language and can detect slight changes in our movement and tone, even when we don’t see/hear a distinct difference. This ability (referred to as social cognition) varies from dog to dog, species to species
- Dogs have vision that is similar to someone who has red/green colorblindness. They perceive the world in shades of yellow and blue.
- Some dogs developed floppy ears due to their domestication over the years. The vast majority of wild animals have ears that stand up so they can hear easily in the wild. A slight genetic defect related to a decrease in hormone production causing aggression and stress allowed some dogs to be more relaxed around humans thus making these the ones who were chosen for domestication. Over time, the defect was bred again and again, leading to floppy ears because of the lack of need to survive in the wild.
Thanks, Erin, for these fascinating details about dogs. Here’s a fascinating fact about Erin. One of her “pet projects” (pun intended) was reinventing the Camp Bow Wow’s 501 c(3), the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation ®. Erin released a new mission for the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation which offers grants up to $2500 to families who cannot afford necessary medical treatment for their dogs. As the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation continues to grow, Erin seeks to foster relationships with veterinarians to allow grant funding to accommodate even more dogs. Check out Camp Bow Wow for details.
Kris Kelly is the Community Affairs Manager for CBS 62/CW50 and is a doting grandma to her two adorable grand-dogs, Doc and Kevin.